Greens Support Queenslanders with Disability Network Calls For Better Disaster Response For Disability Community

The Australian Greens MPs

Today Greens Spokesperson for Disability Jordon Steele-John and Greens Senator for Queensland Larissa Waters have given their support for a range of policy commitments set out by the Queensland Disability Network.

These commitments aim to ensure the safety of the disability community during the increasingly common effects of the climate emergency such as the recent flooding in Queensland and New South Wales. It will also see the centering of disabled voices in how the government prepares and enacts its disaster response plans.

These commitments are:

  • A commitment to refunding QDN $2 million over 2 years to continue to operate the Targeted Outreach project. QDN also supports the funding of the Queensland Government’s Assessment and Referral team to continue working alongside the project.

  • Commitment to the development of a national plan and roadmap to deliver on disability-inclusive disaster preparedness, resilience, and recovery, and investment for multi-sector targeted responses underpinned by collaborative and inclusive research.

Quotes attributed to Senator Jordon Steele-John, Greens Spokesperson for Disability Rights and Services:

“Too often we have to hear stories from disabled folks who were unable to access the support and services they needed during times of crisis. Stories of inaccessible emergency centres, lack of planning for those unable to evacuate and communication systems inaccessible to the deaf or vision impaired are far too common”

“Severe flooding and bushfires are becoming more and more common and it’s time the government stopped treating the disability community as an afterthought. We need services designed by and enacted by disabled folks that properly take into account lived experience during times of crisis.”

“The commitments outlined by QDN and supported by our party today are a valuable first step for a framework to disaster response that puts lived experience and Co-design at its core so we don’t continue to leave disabled people behind every time there is an emergency”

“The Greens in the balance of power will prioritise the needs of disabled people, work with the community invaluable co-design and ensure everyone has what they need to live a happy and healthy life”

Quotes attributed to Queensland Senator Larissa Waters:

“I recently met with members of the Queensland Disability Network and was shocked to hear some of the things Queenslanders with disabilities experienced during the floods. It simply isn’t good enough that so many people were left without support at a critical time.”

“Targeted outreach is essential so Queenslanders with disabilities are not ignored, and aren’t put at greater risk during future disasters.”

“As climate events become more frequent, we need to fund organisations like QDN to be a voice for people with disabilities in disaster management planning.”

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